Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I love to read. I love my job. One of the coolest things about it is that though all of my days are spent spending time with teenage students, in between our activities and chapel services and hangout times, I have a lot of time to grow intellectually and spiritually. For me, a big source of renewal (and also growth) is the ability to sit down and learn from/be challenged/shaped/changed by a good book. Summer is always the best time for heavy reading, and I've been getting my read on for sure - here's the rundown on what's been in/is in my hands:


Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald - it doesn't meaning "ordering" like ordering a Big Mac, but rather ordering in the sense of developing your inward, private spiritual fortitude. It's a book that is very practical, but also very compelling. Somewhat oriented towards older business folks, but with ideas that are very thought-provoking and applicable.

The Man Who Could Do No Wrong, Charles Blair - a biography recommended by the above book. Charles Blair was a man who grew up in the Depression, founded, shaped, what would become one of the 10 largest churches in America, and then was accused of defrauding business investors. It's a story of his discovery of the failure of the American Dream and the illusion of success - a very powerful story, and one which I have yet to finish. But I read half of it today - it's very winsome story, and a haunting parable. I have hardly read any biography, but I'm excited to get more into it.


A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving - a dark, comic novel upon which the movie Simon Birch is loosely based. At some points coarse and sprinkled with some Reagan-era political commentary that went over my head, the story is one that has very powerful implications for the power of destiny and GOD's will, a well-crafted tale which comes together at the end. Not sure if I would recommend it, but it was a good story.

Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut - Deep. Funny. Complex. I'm not really sure what to say about it - each of the short chapters of this novel is pregnant with meaning and nuance. It's a novel loosely about a man writing a story about the dropping of the atomic bomb - but really, it seems like it's about nothing at all. I appreciated it, but I can't say I fully understood it.

Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston - A story of a family in the Japanese internment camps during World War II. A very warm story told about a very tragic time in US history. A story about the terrible power of racism, fear, and injustice, and the deep wounds that come from having your home and all you know taken from you. A very disarming, telling parable.

That's all for now - I'll let you know what else is up shortly - I hope to post here regularly. See you soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

COTW - WEEKS 1 & 2

Camp is off the hook. After a week of preparation for what camp was going to be like, the first "guests" arrived for week 1 of camp. We played dodgeball, or "Sphere Evasion" as they call it here, because there's some kind of taboo/illegality regarding dodgeball - I've never seen kids throw balls at each other for so long. I get paid to hang out with teenagers - There's nowhere else I'd rather be.

For my birthday, I went into town and ate chinese food at Dragon City. In a town of 349, you wouldn't think that there would be a good chinese restaurant, but not so in Speculator - it was delicious.

This is what I remember in looking back on the past two weeks - I feel like it has flown by, and I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth. I'm being stretched, tested, and refined - I'm blessed to have so many praying for my time here, and to have so many amazing men and women of GOD to work with.

I wish you could be here, and see it all, but for now, I'll get my thoughts together and see if I can't being a little more coherent next time. GOD is good - that's all I can say. See you soon.